Racism And Redemption At The Tournament Of Roses Parade

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-01-02 02:59Z by Steven

Racism And Redemption At The Tournament Of Roses Parade


Andrew Bender, Business Travel Blogger

Joan Williams holds the portrait from 1957, when she was Miss Crown City. On January 1, 2015, after 57 years, she will finally get to ride in the Tournament of Roses Parade. (Photo credit: Savannah Wood)

The theme of 2015′s Tournament of Roses Parade is “Inspiring Stories,” and the person leading it has a doozy: a tale of racism and redemption from a 57-year-old injustice involving the parade itself.

Riding on the first float in the 126th edition of this New Year’s Day tradition, before some 700,000 spectators in Pasadena, Calif. and an estimated 70 million television viewers, will be 82-year-old Joan Williams. She was first slated to ride in the parade in 1958 as Miss Crown City, but later denied the honor because she was African-American.

In 1957, Williams, her husband and two daughters had just moved to Pasadena (about 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles), where she worked for the city’s Department of Water and Power. She didn’t even know there was a Miss Crown City – a Pasadena city employee who appeared at civic ceremonies and rode on the city’s Rose Parade float – until her colleagues had nominated her for the position…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,